Online Rules of Engagement – updated

(Given all the recent kerfuffles, I thought it was time to update folks on discussion decorum)


When a person or organization commits an act that you find morally reprehensible (e.g., kills lion on illegal safari, refuses to serve same-sex couple in restaurant, shoots unarmed teenager), please follow these practices:

1) Take a breath.  Do not immediately sign every online petition to close the offender’s business/school/church.

2) Get the facts.  Verify news sources.  Suspect anything from Fox.

3) Do not dox the offender.  (Doxxing is defined as publishing another person’s private contact information such as phone numbers, addresses, family members, and so on.)

4) Do not become a vigilante.  You are not Batman.

5) Spend your money at a high level.  Donate to recognized organizations that help large numbers of people/animals without regard to nationality or religious affiliation  (e.g., Doctors Without Borders, World Wildlife Fund).

6) Act locally.  Offer to help rebuild the school, house the displaced, feed the unemployed.

7) Focus your anger.  WRITE LETTERS.  Engage elected representatives.  Explore legal avenues.  Seek justice rather than revenge (see Rule 4 above).

8) Avoid trolls. You’ll never win.

9) Practice compassion in all things.

Thank you.

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